Queer: April 2003 Archives

Bloggy says gays for Bush are like Jews for Hitler.

What ignited this righteous ire? It started with just one dumb Republican.

Rick Santorum, Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, and No. 3 in the GOP leadership.
If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.

All of those things are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family. And that's sort of where we are in today's world, unfortunately. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist, in my opinion, in the United States Constitution.

But there was lots of help from John Partain, president of the Pennsylvania Log Cabin Republicans.
The discriminatory remarks made by Sen. Santorum clearly do not reflect the compassionate conservatism promised by our president.
And before these two lackeys made fools of themselves there was one queer cultural memory, of the biggest little fool of all, that will never be erased.
"Compassionate conservative" George W. Bush supported the Texas sodomy law when it came under legal challenge, calling it a "symbol of traditional values".

He and she are not supposed to even be there, but they are. Moreover, like their comrades, most queers on duty in the Persian Gulf have lovers and partners at home anxious about their welfare, yet neither these soldiers and sailors nor those who most love them and now wait for them here can show that they care for each other.

The NYTimes yesterday:

At a time when thousands of Americans are planning for the return of their loved ones from the Middle East, there is a subset that remains largely invisible. The government's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which forbids gays in the military to be open about their sexual orientation, has caused an unknown number of couples to have their farewells behind closed doors, to plan similarly discreet homecomings and, in the time between, to resort to sterile or anonymous messages as a way of staying in touch.

With their hearts and lives in upheaval, the gay partners of troops in the gulf voice frustration that they have not received the benefits that married couples get, or the same level of emotional support.

What follows are excerpts from the stories of two couples. The first:
A woman in the Northeast, whose lesbian partner of eight years is an officer on a ship that has been at war, does not have access to family briefings offered at the nearby base on the status of the ship's crew. But even if she did, "I wouldn't be comfortable going there: I'd be worried about what questions would be asked of me."

She is also troubled by the thought that if her partner was incapacitated, she would not be the first person contacted by the military. "We've got to navigate through this crazy system virtually alone," she said.

The second story is that of a Washington lawyer, partner for five years of a soldier now deployed in the gulf, who describes the difficulties which cannot be overcome by their planning, their wills and mutual powers of attorney.
"It wasn't a goodbye kiss at the base like I saw on TV for so many other people," the lawyer said. "We've learned to make adjustments."
Since the soldier departed for his current duty, his partner has felt left out, even among professional colleagues whose spouses are overseas, because he has to remain protective of his partner's anonimity.
The lawyer was plainly eager to tell his story, but spent several minutes making sure that any account he gave a reporter would be scrubbed of details that could identify the partner.

In daily e-mail messages, the lawyer said, he must choose his words carefully, and avoid gender references. He does not end those messages with his name.

"I write it and I censor it as I go along," he said. "But I say 'I love you.'"

Our good friend Bill Dobbs writes us that there may be something in the old slogan, "Gay is Good," coined by Dr. Frank Kameny in the summer of 1968.

A 20-year-old marine corps reservist in California is seeking conscientious objector status.

"My moral development has also been largely effected by the fact that I'm homosexual," Funk said in his application.

"I believe that as a gay man, someone who is misunderstood by much of the general population, I have a great deal of experience with hatred and oppression. When someone is thrust into a situation of hate and oppression because of factors they have no control over, I believe they either react with hatred back, because they've experienced it, or they learn not to be that way towards others. I have adopted the latter reaction and stand with the oppressed people of the world who know that hate and oppression do not solve any problems."

Dobbs email continues,
Funk's pursuit of conscientious objector status has garnered a fair amount of ink in major newspapers; the coverage I've seen, including the New York Times, has failed to report that Funk is a same-sexer - missing not only a most important facet of his life but a major angle of the story.

Michelangelo Signorile reports that, in the midst of the real business of the military, its peak period, actual war, once again the Pentagon has decided that gays are too useful to be thrown out.

Rather than speedily drumming out gays based on rumors or overheard declarations - the essence of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy - the military in some cases even appears intent on proving service people aren't gay, even after the individuals claim to be.

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